Sunday, January 23, 2011

S#*! my Texas AG says

Whenever I post insanity from another state, I always know that Texas, a real competitor, won't leave the challenge unanswered. So here's the Texas Attorney General stepping up to the plate:
You can’t make this crap up.   KERA Dallas reports (with audio!):
Texas is the only state that has refused to establish a greenhouse gas permit process….

[Texas AG Greg] Abbott:  “Congress did not authorize the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases. One of the key greenhouse gases the EPA is regulating is carbon dioxide. It is almost the height of insanity of bureaucracy to have the EPA regulating something that is emitted by all living things.”

So the EPA shouldn’t regulate the discharge from living things.  I guess the Texas AG just wants crap all over the place.  Literally.  [Insert your joke about sewage treatment here.]

Of course, the carbon dioxide emissions from living things don’t throw the carbon-cycle horribly out of balance — industrial emissions do (see “Humans boosting CO2 14,000 times faster than nature, overwhelming slow negative feedbacks“).

The science has become increasingly clear that unrestricted emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion poses the gravest of threats to human health and well-being (see “A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice” and “Science stunner: On our current emissions path, CO2 levels in 2100 will hit levels last seen when the Earth was 29°F (16°C) hotter“).  And such emissions directly poison the ocean (see “Geological Society: Acidifying oceans spell marine biological meltdown “by end of century”).  ...

William Shatner will play the part of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in the TV version of the Texas farce.

Paul Krugman points out that this isn't new, although you'd think even Texas Republicans would have learned something since 1858, wouldn't you?
As Joe points out, this argument says that we should adopt an equally laissez-faire attitude toward sewage.

But hey, there was a time when conservatives did, in fact, argue for doing nothing about effluent of any kind. In the years leading up to the Great Stink of 1858, which finally got the British to build a London sewer system, The Economist editorialized against any such foolish notion (pdf):
suffering and evil are nature’s admonitions—they cannot be got rid of.

Or, to put it (almost) in the modern vernacular, stuff happens.

And given the way we’re heading — with politicians arguing that the federal government has no right to ban child labor — don’t be surprised to see the anti-sewer movement making a comeback, and to see elected representatives, even if they know better, holding their noses and going along.

And yes, Republican Mike Lee, the new United States Senator from Utah, really does claim that laws prohibiting child labor are unconstitutional. Apparently, we've fallen down the rabbit hole into some bizarre alternate dimension of right-wing insanity.

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